Everyone knows Merky ACE and everyone knows Splurt Diablo—but, as it turns out, they're actually the same person. It's impressive that both aliases have gotten so prominent without the connection ever leaking into public knowledge.
As a member of Family Tree, Merky ACE quickly carved out a unique, inimitable flow that is absolutely unmistakable on a track. He's got bags and bags of his own one-liners and punchlines, all of which earn instant reloads the second they pass his lips. As the faceless, mysterious Splurt Diablo, Merky is responsible for some of grime's most recognisable riddims and has lent his beat-making talent to Wiley, Kozzie, Tre Mission, Family Tree (of course), AJ Tracey and Cadell.
Now that the secret's out, we'll be seeing a lot more of Splurt Diablo in a live setting. And, with any luck, we could see more straight-up Splurt releases like the J3 EP on Oil Gang back in 2013. Regardless, bridging the gaps between the two aliases is going to give us some big, forward-facing grime releases in the future.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
I played all the songs I'm feeling at the moment—ones produced by me, as well as other producers.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
There was three, to be honest: "Top Floor Ottawa" by Tre Mission, "Round 1" by Rocks FOE and "Real Shit" by Francis Got Heat. All three of these tunes I wish I made myself, which, to me, is always an indication that the track is a banger and next level.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
A track I made called "Real Life", featuring Aruba Jasmine. I actually forgot to play it as it's such a different, happy, summertime vibe. But I uploaded it on my SoundCloud recently as a result of that because the world just has to hear it.
What made you want to tell the world now that you're the producer Splurt Diablo?
I reckon I just reached a point where I felt both identities were developed and stood strong alone. I didn't just want to be the MC that produced—I wanted to be the producer that MC'd, too. With me being known for MCing first, that wasn't the case when I decided to create the alter-ego. I've honed my skills enough as a producer and DJ to a point I'm happy to share it with the world. And with me having a new album on the way, I want people to listen to it with this in mind as it features all my own productions.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
With the big secret being out, I hope to be out doing a lot more shows as Splurt Diablo. With the whole mystery before, people might not have known how to get in touch for bookings, but now I aim to get it out there so much that no one can use that as an excuse.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
Nostalgic, simple-sounding grime. I believe the music has evolved for the better and that taking steps back is killing its progress. It's OK to reference and remember, but I've been seeing too much that are exact replicas. I reckon that sound was good then, because it was unique. Now it's already been done, I just see it as copying and not even doing anywhere near as good. Death to that!
01. Splurt Diablo - Razac
02. Dark Cautious - Bumping
03. Splurt Diablo - Alpha Keri
04. Francis Got Heat - Real Shit
05. Tre Mission - Top Floor Ottawa
06. Splurt Diablo - Hollow Bean
07. Shannon Parkes - LOTM 4
08. Dark Cautious - Visits 2
09. Faze Miyake - Tropical
10. Splurt Diablo - Dora
11. Splurt Diablo - Stiff Bass
12. Splurt Diablo - Mo Ali
13. Splurt Diablo - Sodium Wounds
14. Faze Miyake - Rezzie
15. Splurt Diablo - Impatient
16. Faze Miyake - Calm
17. Splurt Diablo - Eglides
18. Mazza x Faze Miyake - Agave
19. Splurt Diablo - Kwayloo
20. Tre Mission x Splurt Diablo - Interlude
21. Rocks FOE - Round 1
22. Splurt Diablo - Razzle Dazzle